The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata and CUTS International jointly organized a half-day workshop titled “Defense News Conclave: Stories of U.S.-India Defense and Security Partnership.” The workshop aimed to highlight the strong and growing bilateral defense relationship between the United States and India.
Over 100 representatives from the media, think tanks, defense experts, defense industry leaders, and civil society participated in the event held in Kolkata. The focus was on the positive messages conveyed by President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their recent joint statement, emphasizing the comprehensive global strategic relationship involving joint research, co-development, and production of high-end defense equipment, as well as expanded cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The workshop consisted of two sessions that discussed the good practices of the U.S.-India Defense and Security Partnership in general and its significance in the Indo-Pacific region in particular. It examined milestones achieved, existing policies, and areas that need attention to ensure a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
During the event, Colonel Douglas Hess, U.S. Army Attache, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, highlighted the increasing interconnection between the U.S. and India in various aspects, stressing the importance of building strong partnerships in preparation for potential crises.
Adrian Pratt, Acting Consul General, Public Affairs Officer, and Director of the American Center, U.S. Consulate General Kolkata, emphasized that cooperation with India strengthens security, prosperity, and society. He announced that the workshop series would continue in other Indian cities, bringing together experts, officials, leaders, and influencers to promote the positive stories of the U.S.-India defense ties.
Bipul Chattopadhyay, Executive Director, CUTS International, acknowledged the evolution of the India-U.S. Defense and Security Partnership, highlighting the transition from “Democracies can deliver” to “Democracies have delivered.”
Lieutenant General Subrata Saha, Former Member of the National Security Advisory Board and Deputy Chief of Army Staff, mentioned that the 2+2 Dialogues between India and the U.S. have played a crucial role in bridging the gap and strengthening the relationship, leading to initiatives in critical and emerging technologies.
Chintamani Mahapatra, Founder, and Honorary Chairman of Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies emphasized India’s importance in the Indo-Pacific region, stating that there would be no Indo-Pacific without India. He stressed the need for U.S.-India cooperation to ensure an open, free, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
Shekhar Dutt, Former Governor of Chhattisgarh and Defense Secretary of India, highlighted the mutual interest for the U.S. to have India as an ally, and both nations should leverage this partnership for participation in the global supply chain.
The event also featured insights from various other panelists, including media personalities, defense industry representatives, and analysts, all of whom stressed the importance of building trust between the two countries as the foundation for a strong and enduring relationship.